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Workers' compensation measure wins Oklahoma House panel approval

Certain Oklahoma employers would be able to obtain alternative workers' compensation coverage under Oklahoma House Bill 2155.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: February 28, 2012
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A House panel passed a bill Monday that would allow certain Oklahoma employers to obtain alternative workers' compensation coverage.

House Bill 2155, by House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, passed the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee by a vote of 8-5. It now goes to the full House.

Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, said he would like to see how the workers' compensation legislation that was passed and signed into law last year fared before other measures dealing with the system were passed.

The workers' compensation legislation approved last year was the first comprehensive overhaul in 33 years

Rep. Fred Jordan, the committee chairman who handled the bill for Steele, said only employers that have at least 50 employees and dealt with more than $50,000 in claims the past three years would be eligible to obtain alternative workers' compensation coverage.

It would be voluntary, he said.

“There's still going to be a lot of employers who operate under the existing system,” said Jordan, R-Jenks.

Inman said he was concerned the change could drive up workers' compensation insurance rates for other companies.

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